You are sitting in the audience of a theater, waiting for the show to start. The crowd murmurs in anticipation, the stage is dark. Suddenly the house lights flicker on, the music swells, and the curtain begins its ascent, revealing the silhouette of a beautiful ballerina. She’s close enough that you can hear the sound of her satin shoes brush the floor as she begins to dance.
Although it might feel real, the 360-degree theater is an illusion, created in virtual reality by the filmmakers at Springbok Entertainment. The Tribeca X Award-winning VR film, The 100%, reveals the story of ballerina Maggie Kudirka, whose stage four breast cancer diagnosis at age 23 and continuing battle has made her an advocate for young people with the disease.
Kudirka, now 28 and living outside of Baltimore, Maryland, is among the 800 or so women under 40 years of age who is diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer each year. While her cancer was rare, she’s joined by more than 3 million women with a history of breast cancer in the US. In 2019, it's estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
“This film embraces the power of VR technology to address important issues and bring people into another’s story,” says Joanna Popper, HP’s head of location-based VR entertainment. “It has an emotional impact.” The 100% was sponsored by HP and Intel, with HP contributing funding as well as commercial VR hardware to the project, including the new HP Reverb Pro Edition headset.